Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blogging From The Bus

  • I can’t believe this is coming out of my mouth, but it was a great day in Edmonton. Why? It wasn’t as cold as it’s been the last few days, but the main reason was the ability to attending the morning skate for both the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Black Hawks. The Hawks workout was my main focus, considering they have 10 former Western Hockey League players on their roster, including former Rocket Duncan Keith.
  • After the Hawks morning skate Doyle Potenteau and I went down to the Hawks dressing room where I spoke with Keith in an interview that will air in the first intermission of tonight’s game in Red Deer. It’s hard to fathom that Keith is already into his 6th season of pro, including five with the Hawks. Our conversation centers around his involvement with the Rockets in winning the 2003 WHL title in the place we are headed to tonight – Red Deer.
  • Speaking of Doyle Potenteau, he was busy interviewing several Hawks who have links to the WHL. Players like Cam Barker (Med Hat), Colin Fraser (Red Deer), Dustin Byfuglien (Prince George) and Troy Brouwer (Moose Jaw) will be featured in a story he is working on as we speak. Look for it in the Daily Courier tomorrow. I have given the Hawks the name ‘Team WHL’ for the Western Canada flavor they have on this year’s team. And to think the Hawks are the youngest team in the NHL. Why are they having such a good season? Question answered.
  • I even spent a few minutes talking one-on-one with Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville. Why? I wanted to hear from the veteran coach about his influence on the playing career of current Rockets assistant Jeff Finley. Finley has often talked glowingly about his former coach, as Quenneviille guided the ship when Finley was with the St Louis Blues.
  • During the morning skate I spotted TSN’s Chris Cuthbert up in the stands. I had to say hello, so ventured up to shake the hand of the veteran broadcaster. As I approached I noticed that colour analyst Ray Ferraro was sitting right behind him, so introduced myself to both of them. I will admit I did little talking with Cuthbert as Ferraro is not scared to open his mouth and talk. That’s the sign of a good colour guy isn’t it? They seem to all have the same trait – the gift to gab.
  • What impressed me about Ray Ferraro was his knowledge of the WHL. Sure his 17 year-old son is a Red Deer Rebel, but Ferraro was speaking about players out West that only the astute hockey fan knowns about. I left my encounter with Ferraro extremely impressed by the passion he has for the game, and the willingness to talk openly about it.
  • What’s the benefit of being an Edmonton Oil King? You get a chance to see NHL players on a daily basis. During the Oilers' workout several members of the Oil Kings, including former Rockets Torrie Jung and Brett Breitkruez, were taking in the action. Both players stopped by and said hello.
  • I still don’t get the media scrum. The scrum is where all the media converge on one player with microphones and camera’s pointed firmly in his face. I guess it accomplishes the goal of getting a sound bite (a quick comment) from the player, but I waited until everyone moved away from the player to have a one-on-one conversation. As an example, a throng of cameras were in the face of Hawks forward Patrick Kane. Once the dust settled, a radio guy from the Team 1260 in Edmonton calmly sat down beside the Hawks leading scorer and likely had a great interview.
  • The odd sight of the day? A visit to a nearby Starbucks had me running into a gentlemen ( I use that loosely) riding a bike with roller blades on. Considering it was minus 15 outside and the streets and sidewalks in downtown Edmonton are snow/ice covered, it wasn’t the best mode of transportation. To make matters worse the knucklehead didn’t have a helmet.
  • A good article in the Edmonton Sun today about Colin Long getting snubbed by U.S.A Hockey. The article, written by a Calgary reporter, is amazed Long isn't off to the world juniors. You're preaching to the choir buddy, you're preaching to the choir.
  • If I don't get a cold on this trip I will be amazed. I don't dare turn around as I sit on the bus on our trip to Red Deer, but it sounds like a grizzly bear a few seats back. Lets just say its a nasty sounding cough. Where's my Sars mask anyway? Anyone have some anti bacterial hand wash? Am I a germ - a - phobe? Absolutely.

1 comment:

entropyyy said...

perhaps you'll make a cameo on sportscentre tonight.